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a junction of the Judiciary to it involved an improper mixture of powers.
Mr. Wilson remarked, that the responsibility required belonged to his executive duties. The revisionary duty was an extraneous one, calculated for collateral purposes.
Mr. WilLIAMSON was for substituting a clause requiring two-thirds for every effective act of the legislature, in place of the revisionary provision.
On the question for joining the judges to the Executive in the revisionary business, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, aye-3; Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no——8.
Mr. PINCKNEY gave notice, that tomorrow he should move for the re-consideration of that clause in the sixth Resolution adopted by the Committee, which vests a negative in the National Legislature on the laws of the several States.
The Committee rose, and the House adjourned.
THURSDAY, JUNE 7TH.
In Committee of the Whole—Mr. PINCKNEY, according to notice, moved to reconsider the clause respecting the negative on State laws, which was agreed to, and to
morrow fixed for the purpose. The clause providing for the appointment of the second branch of the National Legislature, having lain blank since the last vote on the mode of electing it, to wit, by the first branch, Mr. DICKINSON now moved, “that the members of the second branch ought to be chosen by the individual Legislatures."
Mr. SHERMAN seconded the motion ; observing, that the particular States would thus become interested in supporting the National Govenment, and that a due harmony between the two governments would be maintained. He admitted that the two ought to have separate and distinct jurisdictions, but that they ought to have a mutual interest in supporting each other.
Mr. PINCKNEY. If the small States should be allowed one Senator only, the number will be too great; there will be eighty at least.
Mr. DICKINSON had two reasons for his motion first, because the sense of the States would be better collected through their Governments, than immediately from the people at large; secondly, because he wished the Senate to consist of the most distinguished characters, distinguished for their rank in life and their weight of property, and bearing as strong a likeness to the British House of Lords as possible; and he thought such characters more likely to be selected by the State Legislatures, than in any other mode. The greatness of the number was no objection with him. He hoped there would be eighty, and twice eighty of them. If their number should be small, the popular branch could not be balanced by them. The Legislature of a numerous people ought to be a numerous body.
Mr. Williamson preferred a small number of Senators, but wished that each State should have at least one. He suggested twenty-five as a convenient number. The different modes of representation in the different branches will serve as a mutual check.
Mr. Butler was anxious to know the ratio of
representation before he gave any opinion.
Mr. WILSON. · If we are to establish a National Government, that government ought to flow from the people at large. If one branch of it should be chosen by the Legislatures, and the other by the people, the two branches will rest on different foundations, and dissensions will naturally arise between them. He wished the Senate to be elected by the people, as well as the other branch; the people might be divided into proper districts for the purpose; and he moved to postpone the motion of Mr. Dickinson, in order to take up one of that import.
Mr. MORRIS seconded him.
Mr. Read proposed “that the Senate should be appointed by the Executive magistrate, out of a proper number of persons to be nominated by the individual Legislatures." He said, he thought it his duty to speak his mind frankly. Gentlemen he hoped would not be alarmed at the idea. Nothing short of this approach towards a proper model of government would answer the purpose, and he thought it best to come directly to the point at once. His proposition was not seconded nor supported.
Mr. Madison. If the motion (of Mr. DICKINSON) should be agreed to, we must either depart from the doctrine of proportional representation, or admit into the Senate a very large number of members. The first is inadmissible, being evidently unjust. The second is inexpedient. The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness, with more system, and with more wisdom, than the popular branch. Enlarge their number, and you communicate to them the vices which they are meant to correct. He differed from Mr. Dickinson, who thought that the additional number would give additional weight to the body. On the contrary, it appeared to him that their weight would be in an inverse ratio to their numbers. The example of the Roman tribunes was applicable. They lost their influence and power, in proportion as their number was augmented. The reason seemed to be obvious : they were appointed to take care of the popular interests and pretensions at Rome; because the people by reason of their numbers could not act in concert, and were liable to fall into factions among themselves, and to become a prey to their aristocratic adversaries. The more the representatives of the people, therefore, were multiplied, the more they partook of the infirmities of their constituents, the more liable they became to be divided among themselves, either from their own indiscretions or the artifices of the opposite faction, and of course the less capable of fulfilling their trust. When the weight of a set of men depends merely on their personal characters, the greater the number, the greater the weight. When it depends on the degree of political authority lodged in them, the smaller the number, the greater the weight. These considerations might perhaps be combined in the intended Senate; but the latter was the material one.
Mr. Gerry. Four modes of appointing the Senate have been mentioned. First, by the first branch of the National Legislature,—this would create a dependance contrary to the end proposed. Secondly, by the National Executive,—this is a stride towards
monarchy that few will think of. Thirdly, by the people; the people have two great interests, the landed interest, and the commercial, including the stockholders. To draw both branches from the people will leave no security to the latter interest; the people being chiefly composed of the landed interest, and erroneously supposing that the other interests are adverse to it. Fourthly, by the individual Legislatures,—the elections being carried through this refinement, will be most like to provide some check in favor of the commercial interest against the landed; without which, oppression will take place; and no free government can last long where that is the
He was therefore in favor of this last. Mr. DICKINSON. * The preservation of the States in a certain degree of agency is indispensable. It will produce that collision between the different authorities which should be wished for in order to check each other. To attempt to abolish the States altogether, would degrade the councils of our country, would be impracticable, would be ruinous. He compared the proposed national system to the solar system, in which the States were the planets, and ought to be left to move freely in their proper orbits. . The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Wilson) wished, he said, to extinguish these planets. If the State Governments were excluded from all agency in the national one, and all power drawn
* It will throw light on this discussion to remark that an election by the State Legislatures involved a surrender of the principle insisted on by the large States, and dreaded by the small ones, namely, that of a proportional repre sentation in the Senate. Such a rule would make the body too numerous, a the smallest State must elect one member at least.